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Vatican official: Church needs RP in evangelization

MANILA, July 11, 2007—A ranking Vatican-based official from the Pontifical Mission Society (PMS) said the late Pope John Paul II rightly considered the Filipinos as potential “evangelizers” in Asia.

PMS Secretary-General Fr Patrick Byrne, SVD yesterday echoed the late Holy Father’s prophetic words, adding that his trip to the Philippines is a “tremendous” missionary experience.

“I can understand the mind of the late Pope John Paul II when he saw the importance of the Philippines in the missionary evangelization of Asia,” he said.

Now on his third visit to the Philippines, the Irish missionary said the country has so many vocations and a great missionary zeal.

“I will be praying for your role as missionaries not only to the Philippines and Asia but also to the whole world,” said Byrne during the recently held 54th PMS-Philippines general assembly at the Pope Pius XII Catholic Center in Manila.

During Pope John Paul II’s second visit to the Philippines in 1995 for the 10th World Youth Day, he urged the bishops “to carry the Gospel beyond the shores of this beautiful archipelago to the other peoples of this vast continent.” “Asia needs your help if it is to hear the Good News of Christ crucified and risen,” the late Pope said.

PMS-United States national director Msgr. John Kozar meanwhile, said that more than having a religious and Catholic people, the Philippines is a “profoundly” missionary country.

In every venue that they visited, he said, there lies a desire on part of everyone that the met to truly reach out and share the Good News with other people.

Kozar was particularly amazed at seminaries to see the spirit of young men demonstrating “a real missionary thrust” as they are prepare for the priesthood.

He also lauded the country’s Catholic bishops for showing “beautiful pastoral way with a pastoral touch the whole full dimension of what it is to be a missionary.”

The PMS are the official instrument of the Pope and of the whole Catholic Church in its mission works.

The four Pontifical Missionary Societies are the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, Holy Childhood Association, Society of St. Peter Apostle and Missionary Union of Priest and Religious.

These societies carry our their task by means of information awareness of missionary activities, such as the evangelization and catechesis, fostering spiritual cooperation, promotion of missionary vacation and bringing about efficient collection of donations to fund the missions. (Roy Lagarde)

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